Children and youth may once again be at the receiving end of the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila, and provinces of Laguna, Cavite, and Bulacan, beginning August 4, in efforts to curb the exponential rise of COVID-19 cases.
In the last four months, the execution of stricter rules on community quarantine by local government units (LGUs) have led to reports of untoward incidences of abuse, discrimination, and violence against children, according to Save the Children Philippines.
Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines, called on LGU officials to adhere to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) guidelines issued on June 23, 2020 to treat children humanely on violation of curfew, and quarantine rules.
“We believe the latest decision to impose stricter quarantine measures would help protect children and their families from infection, but we also urge our LGU officials to continuously respect and uphold the rights of children, treat them with dignity, and protect them from violence,” said Muyot.
Based on the DILG guidelines, barangay leaders and law enforcement officers should protect children and youth who allegedly violated curfew and quarantine rules by turning them over to their parents, guardians, or social welfare office, and observe rules that do not harm and threaten children.